Management November 1, 2016 Last updated July 6th, 2021 2,804 Reads share

12 Fun Holiday Gifts for Your Employees

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Thinking about giving a holiday bonus? Although a little bit of cold, hard cash is enticing to many people (especially this time of year), most of your employees won’t spend that money on themselves. They’ll spend it on their children, their in-laws, or their friends. Although that can be fun, it doesn’t delight your team members as much as you might think.

This year, think inside the gift box. Instead of sending money or a gift card, surprise your employees with an actual gift.

Here’s a list of suggestions to help you find the perfect present for your employees.

Something to Eat

Consumable gifts are popular because they don’t take up space and are sure to keep everyone’s stomachs happy. Knowing what type of consumable gift to give is the tricky part. Here are a few suggestions.

A Holiday Meal

This time of year, your employees are busy working and trying to make delicious holiday meals for their friends and family. It’s a stressful time, but when you do the grocery shopping for them, it can make it a little bit more enjoyable. Give your team members recipes and all of the ingredients (down to the aftermints) to put together a traditional feast for either Thanksgiving or Christmas.

Cupcakes in a Jar

Is your team spread out across the country? That doesn’t mean you have to spend a fortune on shipping. With cupcakes in a jar from Yummy Cupcakes, you can send a little holiday sweetness across the miles.

Bacon and Chocolate

It’s hard to go wrong giving bacon (unless you’re giving it to a vegetarian or someone who doesn’t eat pork) and chocolate. Both make people melt with happiness when they put it in their mouth. Check out the Chicago company Vosges Chocolates who offers bacon chocolates.

Anything of the Month Club

It seems that there’s a monthly club for just about everything these days. Find out what your employees are most passionate about and give them a gift that keeps on giving year round. For example, if your employees like to go out for a beer after work, give a subscription to a beer of the month club. If your employees like salsa, try a salsa of the month club. If your employees appreciate cleanliness, give a subscription to a soap of the month club. The list goes on.

Something Cozy

This is a chilly time of year. Make it easier for your team to brave the cold temperatures and make it into your place of business with a cozy gift.

A Candle

This is a dark time of year, but that doesn’t mean your employees can’t cozy up around the fire. Give your employees a candle to burn in their office on dreary days or in their kitchen as they welcome family and friends over. There are many candle companies to choose from. One of our favorites is Our Own Candle Company because they have lots of holiday specific scents.

A Cozy Throw

Nothing screams the holiday season like cozying up on the couch in front of a good movie with the family. Make the experience a little bit warmer and cozier by giving a nice, soft throw blanket. It’s a small gift that’ll keep on giving year after year.

A Coffee Mug Warmer

This is a small gift that will get put to use throughout the year. If your employees have a hard time getting productive before their first cup of Joe, give them a coffee mug warmer to keep their favorite cup warm all day (and stay productive all day).

A Good Book

It’s hard to beat a good book. With the upcoming time off of work to celebrate the holidays, your employees will finally have some downtime to dive into the pages of a novel or memoir. Give them a favorite book that you’ve read this year so that when they finally sit down, they have something to read.

Something Technical

Do you have a high-tech team? Chances are they’re wishing for the latest and greatest technology this year.

A Standing or Treadmill Desk

When your team is done feasting, they’re going to want to tackle their New Year’s Resolution of getting healthy. Set them up for success by giving a standing desk or treadmill desk. There are lots of options on the market for this increasingly popular office perk. We like the ones from The Human Solution.

iPhone 7

The iPhone 7 came out just in time for the holidays. If you require your team to use any apps (such as for scheduling or contacting their teammates), it’s a good idea to give them something nice that’ll make that task a little easier. An iPhone 7 is a great gift and one that’s sure to be put to good use both in their personal and professional life.


Want to keep your employees healthier? Giving a Fitbit to each person is a great way to do that. You can hold office Workweek Hustle competitions to see who can get the most steps in a week, and cheer each other on along the way. There are several colors, makes, and models to choose from. Superwatches is also a good choice for gifts as well.

Amazon Echo

This is a little bit on the higher end, but if you have a small staff and plan to hand out holiday bonuses in the form of a gift, this is the one to give.

Amazon’s Echo is a virtual assistant that is voice activated, so when you talk to it, she responds. Alexa (the virtual personality) can do things such as, give weather reports, traffic updates, add items to a grocery list, play songs, and much, much more. It’s perfect for your busy employees.

One Last Tip: What Not to Give

Most gifts are well-received, but the one gift that might not make a lasting positive impression is company swag. Giving an advertisement for your brand isn’t thoughtful or exciting. It feels more like a burden to your team member than something to thank them for their hard work each year. Nix that idea and go with one of the suggestions above. You’ll bring more smiles and more goodwill to your team if you do.

Happy Holidays!

Image: gifts in a beautiful and elegant package on the wooden table. red and turquoise colors. polka dots. top view

Jon Forknell

Jon Forknell

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